Midterm Molasses

It is less than two months until the midterm elections, and my greatest fear is that the elections will come and go without any noticeable change. The United States Congress at this point is highly partisan and thus highly dysfunctional. Because of the structure of our legislative system, failure to cooperate leads to stagnation. This stagnation is the greatest threat to U.S. National Security at this point in time.

You may be wondering, how can that be so? What about Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant declared (ISIL)? Syria? The economy? Mexican drug cartels? Climate change? China? Russia? My statement still stands, precisely because all of these other national security issues depend, to a great extent, upon the ability of the U.S. Congress to pass bills or, in more colloquial terms, to “do their damn job.”

Cooperation is not a complicated concept. In fact, children are taught from a young age that cooperation is actually more towards one’s advantage in most situations. Conflict can be avoided and progress can be achieved through simple cooperation.

You would think that a concept that kindergartners understand would also be one that adults understand, but alas many adults in the general population and in Congress forget this lesson and are blinded by the aura of power. I would be surprised if any bills of consequence are passed between now and November 4 because politicians believe that they must stand firmly on their parties’ ideological line in order to secure their reelection, with the hope that they will be given positions of power in the House or the Senate during the next congressional term.

Until Congress acts in the interests of the people by at least attempting to cooperate and understand all sides of the issues, very little will be done to address other national security threats. How much longer will it take before Congress sees this? What has to happen to convince them to cooperate and put aside their petty personal interests? Another Great Depression? Another 9/11? I sincerely hope that Congress sees the light before either of those come to pass.